There are two important things I must say…

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

…that stem from my viewing of the CMA’s.

Yes. I’m educated.

Most importantly, I would like to figure out how to transport Carrie Underwood’s legs onto my body. Like… yesterday. While we’re at it I’ll take her entire wardrobe too.

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

By the way, I know the above looks disgusting. Get over it for now. Seriously.

So… second, I’d like to say hello to my secret boyfriend Blake Shelton. He’s my boyfriend and he knows it. Seriously Blake… stoppppp denying it.

My only saving grace is that I’m equally in love with Miranda Lambert. Can they just adopt me? And that’s saying a lot coming from someone who has relentlessly tortured her husband for his fierce dedication to country music. What is wronnnng with me?! Ugh.

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

Maybe someone [with a strong bass voice, for sure] can just sing me to sleep in a sexy, low country twang? That would work too. [And no Mr. How Sweet, I’m not talking about any of that ‘old bosephus’ crap or whoever you try to tell me about every single day that makes my ears bleed. Stop.]

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

But. Want to talk about pasta?

I gotta come clean and tell you that this is totally a cheaters meal. After I made that butternut squash lasagna, so many of you suggested just making a pasta version, minus all the lasagna junk. Uh, why didn’t I think of that? I swear… I can never come up with anything creatively simple. This is easier to throw together and tastes equally as amazing. It’s pretty much the exact same thing, just mashed to high heavens and piled on top of penne in a pie plate.

Because someone needs to do dishes.

And someone is lazy.

Too lazy to turn on the dishwasher.

I wish I was joking.

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

And for those of you who like to get fah-reaky with bacon? At the last minute I crumbled some on top and all I have to say is OHMYGOSHITWASTHEBESTTHINGEVER. !!!!! Get this in your life, stat.

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I


Roasted Butternut Baked Penne

Yield: seves about 4


1 pound butternut squash, peeled and chopped
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small shallot, chopped
1 tablespoons flour
1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
2/3 cup milk
1/2 pound whole wheat penne
1/4 cup freshly grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
sage leaves
crumbed bacon, if desired


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Peel and chop squash, then lay on a baking sheet. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 20 minutes, flip once, then roast for 20 minutes more. Remove from oven and add squash to a bowl, then mash with a potato masher or fork.

Prepare water for pasta and cook according to directions.

While pasta is cooking, heat a medium saucepan over medium heat and add butter and shallots. Whisk continuously until the butter browns and small brown bits appear in the pan. Immediately whisk in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add milk, mascarpone and mashed squash, then mix until until combined. I chose to keep my “sauce” in a thicker state (see the second picture), but if you’d like it thinned out a bit more, add additional milk. At this point, taste and see if you’d like any additional salt or spices – this will most likely depend on how seasoned your squash was. I added another small pinch of salt.

Add pasta to an 8 or 9-inch baking dish. Pour sauce over top, then use a spoon to fold the sauce into the penne, coating it completely. Top with shredded cheeses and fresh sage leaves. Bake for 25-30 minutes, or until cheese is golden and bubbly. Garnish with crumbled bacon if desired.

Note: this is a very “thick” pasta, and it is not swimming in sauce. If you would prefer it to be “saucy,” I’d advise adding more milk to the sauce while cooking. It is great reheated, and adding 1-2 tablespoons of milk when reheating helps it come together nicely.

Roasted Butternut Baked Penne I

This tastes 80 cazillion times better than it looks. I swear.

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216 Responses to “Roasted Butternut Baked Penne.”

  1. #
    Mel — November 11, 2011 @ 10:35 am

    Oh, this look amazing…. I am totally going to make this for supper…. How long till dinner time????


  2. #
    Christina @ This Woman Cooks! — November 11, 2011 @ 10:37 am

    I want I want I want!!


  3. #
    audrey — November 11, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    if this tastes anything like the hooked.


  4. #
    The Mrs @ Success Along the Weigh — November 11, 2011 @ 10:43 am

    Oh baby! Yes please!


  5. #
    Erin — November 11, 2011 @ 10:54 am

    Even though I just made a butternut squash mac and cheese, I need to make this. I am in love with all the butternut squash recipes you have been posting!


  6. #
    Nicola @ unhip squirrel — November 11, 2011 @ 10:56 am

    “This tastes 80 cazillion times better than it looks. I swear. ” – Hey, I think the finished product looks pretty awesome. Okay, there were some dodgy moments early on…. but it’s all about the end product with cooking right? Looks delicious. You make me want bacon.


  7. #
    Julie @ Willow Bird Baking — November 11, 2011 @ 11:01 am

    I’ll take Carrie Underwood’s legs, too! And, like, an entire casserole of this, please. Making this for the boyfriend ASAP. He will appreciate the bacon :)


  8. #
    Annie@A Gluten-Less Foodie — November 11, 2011 @ 11:04 am

    Funny – I just made my own version of this last night! Lasagna is too finicky (is that a word?!) for me! I’ll be posting my GF version on my blog on Sunday. Check it out!


  9. #
    Anna @ On Anna's Plate — November 11, 2011 @ 11:05 am

    Mmmm…if it tastes 80 gazillion times better than it looks, it must be amazing, because I think it looks awesome!!


  10. #
    Maria — November 11, 2011 @ 11:10 am

    That butternut squash on my counter is begging me to make this!


  11. #
    Cait's Plate — November 11, 2011 @ 11:12 am

    That seriously looks like the best thing ever. I was feeling pretty good about my life until I read this and now it all just feels less. I need this.


  12. #
    Natalie A — November 11, 2011 @ 11:14 am

    “crumbed bacon, if desired” Of Course I desire :)


  13. #
    Ashley @ Wishes & Dishes — November 11, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    I think it looks delicious!!! This is my kind of meal! Oh, and I love country too and am also jealous of Carrie Underwood’s ENTIRE BODY! haha


  14. #
    Kelly @ Laughter, Strength, and Food — November 11, 2011 @ 11:17 am

    It looks just fine to me…and I’m sure tastes amazing!!


  15. #
    Ashley — November 11, 2011 @ 11:32 am

    The 2 last photos literally make me want to grab the plate out of the screen. I’m all over this. Like butter on gluten free bread.


  16. #
    Lauren from Lauren's Latest — November 11, 2011 @ 11:53 am

    I think you’re crazy and this looks amazing.


  17. #
    Katie — November 11, 2011 @ 12:09 pm

    I’m in love with four things after reading this post…well, always really. But after reading this post, I now feel like i need to tell you about them.

    1. Miranda Lambert
    2. Blake Shelton
    3. Butternut Squash
    4. You


  18. #
    Rachel @ Not Rachael Ray — November 11, 2011 @ 12:11 pm

    Sage? Bacon? I would have NEVER guessed!!! :)
    Looks amazing.
    And I think we’re all with you on the subject of Carrie Underwood’s legs. Not fair!


  19. #
    Delishhh — November 11, 2011 @ 12:25 pm

    Oh my this looks fabulous!


  20. #
    Lee — November 11, 2011 @ 12:33 pm

    I love this! I was wondering what to do my butternut!


  21. #
    Maia — November 11, 2011 @ 12:38 pm

    That looks warm, toasty, hearty, tasty… to die for! I love the combination of sage and butternut squash – the savory additions of cheese and bacon must make it ever more satisfying.

    I chuckled when I got to “whole wheat penne” in your ingredients list. Nice attempt to mitigate the cheese and bacon! :) That’s totally something I would do. Including washing this meal down with a couple of baby carrots… you know, because they neutralize any and all delicious fatty food that may have already been consumed.

    I saw Carrie Underwood in real life a few years ago when I performed (behind Lady Gaga) at the American Music Awards. She is so cute, tiny, and perfect… especially her skin. So not fair!


  22. #
    Candice @ Sailing on Paper — November 11, 2011 @ 12:53 pm

    I think penne is probably the best pasta ever. Perfectly bite sized!


  23. #
    Emily — November 11, 2011 @ 12:56 pm

    First of all, the meal looks AMAZING!! right up my alley…I cannot wait to try it out. Second of all, you post made me hysterical laugh. Love country music and congrats on coming out into the open with your relationship with Blake. Jealous!! :)


  24. #
    Katrina — November 11, 2011 @ 1:01 pm

    I could go for some Carrie Underwood legs myself. With a side of pasta….although the pasta isn’t getting me any closer to those legs.


  25. #
    Kelly @ Foodie Fiasco — November 11, 2011 @ 1:17 pm

    I love you. You may be the reason my pants don’t fit anymore, but I still love you. (Not in that creepy stalker-ish way though. Promise.)


  26. #
    Sarah @ The Cyclist's Wife — November 11, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    I wasn’t really into squash, until now. Yum!


  27. #
    Frankie — November 11, 2011 @ 1:54 pm

    I was thinking about baking butternut squash with some pasta, but wasn’t sure how it would turn out. In my head, I wasn’t going to mash it first, but apparently that is a key part of the process. Make the butternut squash into sauce, then coat pasta, then bake now why didn’t I think of that? It sounds delicious…


  28. #
    CouponClippingCook — November 11, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

    Love this! what a great idea for a pasta dish especially for this time of year. Great cheese choices too…and I would for sure add the bacon. Sounds so good.


  29. #
    Moni'sMeals — November 11, 2011 @ 2:01 pm

    I take your word for it! I want to try this asap! WOW.

    Great flavor combo too. :)


  30. #
    Jamie (Thrifty Veggie Mama) — November 11, 2011 @ 2:10 pm

    This looks fantastic! I love, love, love sage. And second the bit about Carrie Underwood.


  31. #
    Chels R. — November 11, 2011 @ 2:11 pm

    This looks so perfect! I have a butternut squash laying on my counter that I’m using for a soup today, but I was wondering what to do with the rest of butternut squash. Now I know :) Thank you so much for posting this. This makes me happy because I like gourds and my husband likes Penne =)


  32. #
    Alexandra Hoover — November 11, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

    First of all, I’m not a big fan of country music overall, with the exception of the drinking or vengeful ex-girlfriend related songs, but I LOVE Miranda AND Blake too. I think they just seem so much more fun than everyone else. And I’m not going to lie, I’m obsessed with his “drunken tweets”. I’ve been listening to the Pistol Annies album nonstop lately. Big shocker for me.

    Second, I’m always worried about food looking gross when I’m doing sauces like this. My mushroom alfredo that I do is SO GOOD… but sometimes it just looks… not delicious because of the texture. Oh well. Add this to the list of a million recipes I need to try.


  33. #
    Zoe — November 11, 2011 @ 2:29 pm

    Oh boy! I’m soooo into these flavors these days…and being pretty much 99% vegetarian, I’ve developed this strange obsession with bacon baked in the oven (thanks to Shutterbean)…so this, this speaks to me. In a big way.


  34. #
    honeywhatscooking — November 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    beautiful beautiful beautiful!
    never ever thought of doing this, will be making this soon i hope. I loveeeeeeeee comfort food that is healthy. :-) i can see all those antioxidants. do you think i can use cream cheese or something else instead of marscapone? Any suggestions? don’t wanna use cream for sure.


  35. #
    nicole {sweet peony} — November 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    looks delicious! i have some leftover sage from when i made your autumn apple pizza. i think i’ll use it for this :) happy friday!


  36. #
    Adrianna from A Cozy Kitchen — November 11, 2011 @ 2:34 pm

    Holy geez!! This looks so major. I actually don’t think it looks gross-but-tastes-amazing. I think it just looks amazing!!


  37. #
    Jess — November 11, 2011 @ 2:36 pm

    There are food blogs, then there is your blog. aka – I actually want to eat and make every single thing you post about. Other food blogs, not so much. Keep ’em coming and can’t wait to start whipping up some of these dishes!


  38. #
    Ellie@fitforthesoul — November 11, 2011 @ 3:28 pm

    Oh dang, this looks sooo good! I totally trust you on this one–because sometimes, the pukiest colors are the most delicious foods–especially if it’s squash :) And you are just too funny, Jess! I was at the FBfest and wish I could have found you to say “hello”. I love your vivacious and cute personality. <3


  39. #
    Heather of Kitchen Concoctions — November 11, 2011 @ 4:31 pm

    Yum what a hearty winter meal. I am totally putting this on the menu for next week!


  40. #
    Kerry — November 11, 2011 @ 4:41 pm

    Why do you roast it peeled and chopped? Why don’t you just roast it whole and then scoop out the flesh? Peeling it seems like such a labor intensive job.


    • Jessica — November 11th, 2011 @ 4:46 pm

      I chop because I can get more of the squash seasoned and caramelized that way, which I think makes it taste better. You can definitely roast it whole if you like, but it only adds on about 5 minutes for me to peel and chop.


  41. #
    Sarah — November 11, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    I don’t know if I ever have had squash before……but between this and the lasagna I don’t know why!!! This sounds and looks freaking amazing (well, except that second picture)!


  42. #
    Steph @ Lick My Spoon — November 11, 2011 @ 5:28 pm

    Jessica, we are like butternut squash, cheesy baked pasta, crunchy topping, sage soul sisters. I make a Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese with Sage and Gingersnap Pecan crust. Love the use of mascarpone in yours and will have to remember to try that. But basically, we’re sisters. xo


  43. #
    Tracy — November 11, 2011 @ 6:14 pm

    I love baked penne dishes; this is one I will absolutely have to try!


  44. #
    Michelle — November 11, 2011 @ 7:38 pm

    Making this right now… I’ll post a picture on your FB soon! :)


  45. #
    Fallon — November 11, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    Wait.. Blake Shelton and I have a secret relationship going on!!!


  46. #
    Mary (Sisters Running the Kitchen) — November 11, 2011 @ 9:15 pm

    about to come out of the oven…can’t wait to eat…smells so good!!!!


  47. #
    Emily — November 11, 2011 @ 9:26 pm

    The CMAs are always my favorite awards show. And pop country is SOOO different than what your hubby listens to.

    Butternut squash and pasta are a super yummy combo. We like ours with dried cranberries and onions. mmmmm.


  48. #
    Jackie Grandy — November 11, 2011 @ 9:37 pm

    This looks so yummy! I am also salivating over that butternut squash lasagna.


  49. #
    amanda — November 11, 2011 @ 10:25 pm

    I had been wanting to make the lasagne version of this…. Then magically this post came to my reader today. It’s currently in the oven and smelling delish! Can’t wait to try! And obvi topping w crumbled bacon. (looks like you determined several families dinners tonight!) ;)


  50. #
    Valentina at The Baking Fairy — November 11, 2011 @ 10:38 pm

    I don’t know how you can say that tastes a bazillion times better than it looks because that would be impossible! It already looks freaking delicious. Totally drooling.



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